Grimley B: Neuro-linguistic programming. Still top of the pops after 40 years.
The British Psychological Society, OP Matters No. 20: 36-42, 2013.
Abstract: I KNOW a Google search is not the most scientific way to conduct research. however on 8 April 2013, I typed in ‘NlP’ and got 72.5 million hits. this is substantially more than the most popular branch of psychology, clinical psychology, which trailed behind with 51.3 million and my own discipline occupational psychology with only 11.6 million.
Professor Rob Briner conducted a similar piece of research and Google-searched ‘chartered occupational psychologist’ associated with a number of other terms. his findings were as follows; Belbin 674, coaching 31,700, evidence-based 5,610, master NlP 2,902, mBtI 18,000, NlP 84,900, oPQ 3,040, Psychometric 16,600 (Briner 2012). If occupational psychologists are readily being associated with NlP in the public domain how many other psychologists are too?
This is a question we need to take seriously as we cannot have our cake and eat it. The BPS code of ethics and conduct make it quite clear that research evidence is a key variable and a core theme when making professional decisions in an ethical way. (BPS, 2009, 7(f)). If we believe a technique, or as NlP would have it, a pattern, does not have credible evidence when applied within a particular context this should weigh heavily upon our minds. Given the age of the internet it is feasible to suggest the first point of call a potential client might make to get a rough understanding would be a web site such as Wikipedia and the NlP entry there suggests a discredited pseudoscience.
In this article I would like to take a brief over view of the phenomenon that is NlP and the research evidence that is currently available.